There is nothing wrong with having honest feedback.
There is nothing wrong with having someone else look at your work with the sole purpose of feedback.
Beta Readers are the secret weapon in any writers’ tool kit. This army of your own enlisting help you to weed out what works, what’s boring and what you need more of. The best analogy I can give comes from a process my grandmother did while baking.
When she would bake cakes or pies, she would make what she called a test cake. When she would do this, she would like a few taste the cake. The purpose of the process was to figure out if the cake needed anything added or taken away: more sugar, less vanilla, don’t cook it so long.
It was the feedback coupled with her expertise made what she created all the greater!
The same is said for beta readers! These people are the secret ingredient to what you need to make your work–before the prices of editing!–as reader desirable as it can be.
A good rule of thumb is after a draft is complete is have a small group of readers (friends, family, classmates) to look over your work purely for feedback! You can do the mechanics and other clean up later.
As Nora Roberts said, “You can’t edit a blank page.”
[images from guardian.ng and findbetareaders.com]